SUU started with a 1-0 advantage after Sara Park opened the bottom half of the first inning with a lead-off home run down the right field line. The game’s next score wouldn’t come until the fifth when Portland State evened things up with an RBI single from shortstop Alicia Fine.
The Thunderbirds retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning after Park drove in a second run, but the Vikings plated two more in the top of the sixth to go up 4-2. SUU matched them again in its turn at the plate as Terysa Dyer hit an RBI single to right and then came in to score the go-ahead run on a base hit by Kelli Hales, bringing the count to 4-3.
Portland State was down to its last out in the seventh inning when Chrysta Conn hit a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center with two runners on to put the visitors back in front, 6-4. The T-Birds started a rally in the bottom half of the frame with a solo shot from Kadi Henderson that made it a one-run game. SUU loaded up the bases as Dyer was hit by a pitch after back-to-back singles by Healey and Madison Resley. Anderson then drove the first pitch she saw into center field to bring in the deciding runs for Southern Utah.
“I think like we’ve been like that all year, in games when we’re behind, offensively we feel like we can come back,” stated head coach Kyle Magnusson. “The struggle is with your pitchers when they don’t throw their best pitch and you get beat on it, we’ve done that a few times.”
Anderson finished 3-4 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored. Park’s homer was her first as a Thunderbird, while Henderson retook sole possession of the team lead with her fifth dinger of the year. Katie Greenberg got the start for SUU and struck out a career-high six batters in 5.1 innings while giving up just two earned runs. Senior Ariel Hart (5-6) was credited with the win after allowing three runs in 1.2 innings of relief.
Southern Utah will be off next week before traveling north for a visit to BYU on Tuesday, April 15. The Thunderbirds return home that weekend for a single game against Dixie State, followed by their final Big Sky home series of the year with North Dakota. Coverage of SUU softball is available online at www.suutbirds.com.